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Free Training and Skill Building

The last thing you probably want to think about is being back in the classroom, but most employers complain that today’s graduates lack the critical thinking and communication skills they desire. Coursera is one of several new online schools that offers free courses across a broad range of topics taught by professors at top universities.  This one teaches you how to reason and communicate persuasively in writing. It is led by instructors at Duke and while free, it also offers certification for under $200.

The top skills that employers searched for on LinkedIn during 2013 largely came down to programming and digital media. W3schools offer free online courses where you can learn about web development for beginners through advanced users. Similarly, edX offers a number of free online courses in subjects ranging from chemistry to computer graphics and artificial intelligence. Udacity is yet a third free online option to learn how to code. They even offer the top-rated How to Build a Startup Lean LaunchPad course created by Steve Blank for anyone who wants to start a business or be better qualified to work at a startup.

Although we usually recommend free resources, Lynda is one of several sites that offer 24/7 training in many subject areas including digital media. For $25/month you can try as many training videos as you like without a long-term commitment. This could be a great way to build your confidence and increase your job options by adding to your skill bank.